Formula 1 Futures Betting
The two most common Formula 1 futures bets that can be placed are for the World Drivers Championship and World Constructors Championship. Most of the best online Formula 1 betting sites offer both of these futures, and some offer variations as the season progresses. For example, when Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing started to run away with these titles during the middle of the 2011 F1 season, bookmakers started offering futures based on who would take 2nd place overall.
Formula 1 World Drivers Championship Futures Betting
The F1 World Drivers Championship (WDC) is given to the overall points leading driver each season.
Recent World Drivers Championship Results
2011: 1/ Sebastian Vettel 2/ Jenson Button 3/ Mark Webber
2010: 1/ Sebastian Vettel 2/ Fernando Alonso 3/ Mark Webber
2009: 1/ Jenson Button 2/ Sebastian Vettel 3/ Rubens Barrichello
2008: 1/ Lewis Hamilton 2/ Felipe Massa 3/ Kimi Räikkönen
2007: 1/ Kimi Räikkönen 2/ Lewis Hamilton 3/ Fernando Alonso
Formula 1 World Constructors Championship Futures Betting
The World Constructors Championship is given to the top team each year. Teams consist of two drivers using the same car/engine combination, such as McLaren/Mercedes, Ferrari/Ferrari, and Red Bull/Renault.
In most seasons, the constructor of the World Drivers Championship car will also win the World Constructors Championship. This makes perfect sense because you have to consider that a team capable of producing the winning car should have good results with their second driver as well. At this level of auto racing, the top drivers are all extremely good. The difference between several drivers is like splitting hairs.
Recent World Constructors Championship Results
2011: 1/ RBR Renault 2/ McLaren-Mercedes 3/ Ferrari
2010: 1/ RBR Renault 2/ McLaren-Mercedes 3/ Ferrari
2009: 1/ Brawn-Mercedes 2/ RBR Renault 3/ McLaren-Mercedes
2008: 1/ Ferrari 2/ McLaren-Mercedes 3/ BMW Sauber
2007: 1/ Ferrari 2/ BMW 3/ Renault
How to Bet on Formula 1 Futures
There are some good and bad aspects to Formula 1 futures betting which serious punters need to consider before placing their bets.
One of the problems with Formula 1 futures betting is that if you place your bet before the season begins or early in the season, your money will be tied up for a long time. If you’re working with a bankroll, whatever amount you bet will be removed from that bankroll until the season results have been determined – months later. For this reason, proper bankroll management dictates that we need to keep our futures bets down to a maximum of 1% of the total bankroll. For example, if your bankroll is £1000, you shouldn’t be betting more that £10 on each of these wagers.
Realistically, there are only 5 – 7 drivers with a shot at winning the World Drivers Championship each year. The rest are dead-money, which makes it easier to choose a winner. If you’re choosing a driver who is in the group with a real chance to win, but an underdog within that group, it’s usually smart to bet on this driver before the season begins. This is because an underdog will only have underdog odds until they have success. If you’ve picked the correct driver, his odds will become much shorter as his results improve.
If you’re picking a favourite however, there’s little downside to waiting until a few races have been completed. If that driver is winning, he’s doing what he’s expected to – so his odds won’t change much during the first few races. The idea here is, wait and see if your driver will perform as expected because you have little to lose.
In most seasons, only 2 or 3 teams have a realistic shot at winning the Constructors Championship. While this makes it easy to pick a winner, the odds are usually very short. A common mistake that a lot of casual punters make is to assume that the previous Constructors Champion should win again next year. However, FIA is constantly making rule changes to keep Formula 1 competitive. If one team is too fast, FIA will often mandate changes to slow them down. If a team is too slow, they might allow something they don’t allow for other teams. This sounds biased, but really it isn’t.
In 2011, Sebastian Vettel clinched the Drivers Championship well before the season was over. During the last several races, the drama was gone. This is bad for TV ratings, promoters of remaining races, and for fans. Ideally, F1 would like to see two or three teams battling it out until the final race of the season – and this is why they adjust rules to make the racing more competitive.
Each constructor uses different types of technology, and many of these technologies are limited by FIA. If they’re too slow, FIA might give the team fewer limitations on how they use their technology, allowing them to be more competitive. This is to create parity and keep the racing exciting for fans (and sponsors), not to give one team an edge over the rest.
The 2012 Formula 1 season could turn into an excellent example of this – for two reasons. First, Red Bull Racing dominated 2010 and 2011. It’s not good for F1 when one team dominates for an extended period of time. Secondly, Ferrari is very important to Formula 1. Ferrari is the biggest name in Formula 1 racing, and everyone wants to see them win again. It’s very likely that rules will be adjusted to help Ferrari (and Mclaren-Mercedes) compete with Red Bull in 2012. Smart punters will keep track of these changes, and research how the changes will translate to speed on the track.
The best way to find value is to pay attention to changes in cars, drivers, and rules during the off-season, then picking a constructor that you expect to move up from previous years. For example, Red Bull Renault won back-to-back in 2010 and 2011. Going into 2012, they will be the clear favourites. If you notice significant rule changes during the off season that should benefit Ferrari, you’re likely to get greater odds for them, with possibly the best chance at a winning bet.
Since the World Constructors Championship is usually won by the team who also produces the World Drivers Champion, punters should be keeping these bets tied together. For example, if you think Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) is going to win the World Drivers Championship, you should only bet on Ferrari if you’re going to bet on the World Constructors Championship.